OVER the last couple of weeks, I have attended three funerals. One of these, which I had the privilege to lead, was that of the mum of my wife Diane.

Now, before the mother-in-law jokes click in, I want to say that Vera was one of the kindest, most unassuming and generous people I have met, and she treated me as her own son. She was almost 91, so a good age. But it is nonetheless really hard when someone who has been such a part of your family for so long passes. I shall deeply miss her.

Death makes a strange and, usually, unwelcome invasion into our busy lives. We have our work schedules, leisure activities, meetings, appointments and deadlines that all seem so vital. Then, someone close to us passes away and, for a time, all these things become so irrelevant. Suddenly, the eternity that God has hidden deep in our hearts bursts to the surface and with it so many questions pour forth. If we are wise, we should embrace these moments, painful though they may be, and allow them to realign our perspectives – maybe to change our lives for the better.